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Construction of resettlement houses commences

The affected families have waited three years for their new homes, and will have to wait seven more months to relocate. 

An affected refinery area resident studies the Resettlement Action Plan. (Photo: F. Mugerwa)

An affected refinery area resident studies the Resettlement Action Plan. (Photo: F. Mugerwa)

The construction of houses where the remaining families in the refinery area will be resettled has started in Kyakabooga village, Buseruka sub-county, Hoima district.

Officials from the Ministries of Lands, Works and Energy last week handed over the construction site to Sumadhura Technologies Limited, the contractor and NEWPLAN, the firm that will be supervising the development.

Francis Elungat, a Lands Officer in the Energy Ministry who led the delegation said 46 modern housing units will be constructed while the remaining piece of land has been earmarked for farming, public amenities and economic activities.

He said the houses will have three bed rooms, with an external kitchen and pit latrine. The earlier floor plan had indicated that the houses would be self-contained with indoor toilets and kitchens but it was rejected by the beneficiaries on grounds that it was not suitable for their lifestyle.

According to Elungat, the remaining 44 households that owned land in the refinery area but did not have houses there will only get land in the resettlement village that is equal to the size of the land they lost. There has been a push by the 44 households for government to build them houses as well but this now seems unlikely.

“The principle of land-for-land has been followed,” said Elungat. “The 44 households who had land will be given land titled in their names to do developments, which is an improvement,” he added.

Oil in Uganda did not establish the cost of the construction project which, according to Sumadhura Technologies’ Anand Birador, will be completed in seven months and employ at least 600 locals.

Report by our Hoima Correspondent